Ambassador for Adventure: Muscle-powered long distance traveller inspires students to dig deep

British long distance cyclist and runner Jamie McDonald spoke to DHS students last week about his globe-trotting adventures. Photos by Michael Christianson


By Michael Christianson

Anyone can be a Superhero. That is the message that adorns the front of Jamie McDonald’s book and that was how he started his talk to Dryden High School Students last Friday in the school library.

McDonald was born in England and as a child he battled an immune deficiency, epilepsy, and was frequently hospitalized up to the age of nine. His family feared the young boy may never walk again. These days McDonald is on tour retelling tales of his adventures and inspiring others.

McDonald’s book Advetureman: The Astonishing True Story recounts his first adventure in 2012 cycling 14,000 miles from Bangkok to his hometown Gloucester. After that trip he was ready for a new challenge, running across Canada. Starting in March 2013, his run raised more than $300,000 for sick children in Canada and the UK.

McDonald’s talk mainly focused around his Canadian adventure, which took him from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. Two weeks in he faced his first hurdle, chronic tendonitis in his foot. Early into his almost year long run McDonald was raced with reality and was ready to stop. Through encouragement from family and the help of a pushcart, he kept on with his journey. 

McDonald recalled running in frigid temperatures and even losing the tip of his nose to frostbite. But McDonald pushed on and made it across the country. For his next adventure he plans to run across the USA raising money for the Superhero Foundation.

“I wanted to get across that there is more in them than they realize and they can do anything,” said McDonald. “It’s just about doing their best and doing the best they can at what they do.”

You can follow the adventurer and read all about his past journeys at jamiemcdonald.org

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